Real presence question

Discussion in 'Questions about Anglicanism' started by DouayJamesGeneva, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. DouayJamesGeneva

    DouayJamesGeneva Active Member

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    If someone takes communion in a church that does not teach the real presence, but they themselves believe in it, can they receive the real presence simply by belief, regardless of whether the others do, or can only certain churches with Apostolic succession invoke it?
     
  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    The worthiness of the minister hinderth not the effect of the sacrament. Stock standard Anglican response. God is in control.
     
  3. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    What he said. lol
     
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  4. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    So it's not necessary for minister to have apostolic succession then?
     
  5. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Simple question!?

    According to the Chicago Lambeth Quadrilateral the Historic Episcopate (read apostolic succession) is a non-negotiable for Anglicans.

    However when it comes to the operation of the sacramental life of the Church, God the Holy Spirit is indeed the prime mover, and we would never seek to constrain the operation of the Holy Spirit to our narrow confines. In a word it is above our pay grade so to do. Accordingly the Articles I quoted earlier begins with the word 'In the visible Church the evil be ever mingled with the good' which is the say the effectiveness of sacraments is not because we do it right, but because God gets it right and makes up for our deficiencies.
     
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  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Right. Not only according to the Quadrilateral which is a recent document, but in accord with the historic Anglican documents as well. But yes according to the Quadrilateral as well.

    This is not what the Article refers to, and I'd want to say you are severely misapplying it. There has certainly never been that application of the article in the history of the Church, where "what we do" certainly did and does matter, and there are many ways where this was clear. For example you the recipient could disqualify the Sacrament through unworthy reception, and failing to discern the Body and Blood of our Lord. You could disqualify the Sacrament of Baptism by subsequently falling away from the Lord and dying in sin. The Minister could quite easily disqualify Holy Communion by failing to read from the approved liturgy of the Church, by failing to recite the Words of Institution, and by being an excommunicate or a heretic.

    The "unworthiness" clause never had the broad purpose you ascribe to it, but the narrow reference to the heresy of Donatism, whereby immoral clergy were seen to fail to consecrate the Sacrament, which was condemned as the heresy of Donatism.

    So the Article here, in lieu of some Anabaptist and schismatic sects which advocated this error, says nothing more or less than "we do not advocate he historic heresy of Donatism."
     
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  7. PotterMcKinney

    PotterMcKinney Active Member Typist Anglican

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    I have often questioned our notion of Apostolic Succession as ahistorical and question its necessity for presiding over the Eucharist, many here know this. My approach on Succession has developed somewhat by my studies into the early, ante-Nicene Church. And I have more or less determined that not only the sacramental notions of Succession and the Eucharist are suspect, but the notion of episcopal polity being jure divino as the only medium of Succession to be even more suspect. Which is to say that I have no doubt in my mind Presbyterians maintain Succession in every sense that Anglicans do, despite not maintaining the same polity as we do, if we wanted to conceive of Apostolic Succession in this internal way. This is because in the earliest Church, twofold orders coexisted with threefold ones, as we can plainly see in the writings of Clement and Irenaeus juxtaposed with Ignatius. Even if we step outside of the context and assumptions of our perspective on the matter, and analyze our notions which we take for granted more critically, I have no reason to believe that Apostolic Succession is what makes our ecclesiology, but the acceptance of the wider Congregation that they are set apart for the ministry of Word and Sacrament. As Phillip said, the Spirit can act outside of the boxes we put him in, and I am very inclined from personal evidence confirming it that he does.

    In short, even if we take for granted the the necessity of Apostolic Succession for the presiding over the Eucharist, I think most denominations clearly possess it, including Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, and others.
     
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  8. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Yet again, we can see the inherent problem in Anglicanism, one which may never be resolved. With no authority comparable to a Holy Synod or Magisterium, one can believe what he likes. Even if a poster here were to cite numerous Anglican theologians on the subject of apostolic succession and the Eucharist, none of their opinions would be binding on anyone.
     
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  9. JayEhm

    JayEhm Member

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    How is the Anglican church in "communion" with Lutheran churches that lack apostolic succession if it's non negotiable?
     
  10. PotterMcKinney

    PotterMcKinney Active Member Typist Anglican

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    The Lutherans in question have Apostolic Succession.
     
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  11. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I accept some of what you say, however I do believe that God is at work in the Holy Sacraments of his Church, and we are a faith centred tradition, and certainly I would hope that those in orders acted within the confines of those orders (which we all some now see as historic artifacts) yet as a faith centred tradition (Church) we would not presume to think that the grace of Christ could be thwarted for the faithful.

    I am no Donatist, however I refuse to see the matter of God operating in the sacramental life of the Church being reduced the right form, the right order, in some sort of bureaucratic tick all the boxes and god appears kind of way.

    The great challenge to Matthew Parkers consecration which revolves around the efficacy of the 1552 ordinal is such an attempt, when we know that Bishops with valid sacramental orders consecrated Matthew Parker with the intent that he be the Archbishop of Canterbury. The sacramental intent, the purpose, and the faith were all clear, and a potential flaw in the rite does not invalidate the sacrament. Well we might say 'mind the gap' however faith says 'God gets in the gaps'
     
  12. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Sorry but this has no root in Anglican teaching on holy orders, and is completely at odds with the historic Anglican doctrine and discipline. I want to suggest further reading and study in submission to the fathers and the divines, in lieu of personal opinion (with all due respect).


    1. Each Province has binding decisions all the time, in fact. If the ACNA or the APA or even the Episcopal Church passes something with the change to doctrine or discipline; if there is any change in their canons and constitutions, and the liturgy, then those things become absolutely binding. You cannot disagree with them but still do your own thing. It's no different from how the Eastern Orthodox work.

    2. If you're talking about some sort of synod which binds the whole world, I want to note that the Eastern Orthodox only go back to the putative seven ecumenical councils, ie. the 8th century. So they do not claim to have had a synod which binds the whole world after the eighth century! Since little in those early councils addresses modern evils like transgenderism or gay marriage, you can hardly say the Eastern Orthodox are somehow better equipped than the Anglicans are, in terms of councils.

    3. Plus, when the Orthodox tried to hold the new mega-ecumenical synod last year by the Patriarch of Constantinople, he was accused of liberalism and many Provinces rebelled and refused to submit to his or to the Synod's authority. I would argue that this is even more disobedient than Anglicanism, because our Lambeth conferences aren't canonically binding, and when we do have something canonically binding, then you have no freedom to disobey. Thus if Gafcon adopts the discipline of world-binding councils (to fix the evils of the Lambeth conferences), you wouldn't be able to disobey anywhere in whole world. This is firmly in our DNA.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  13. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    But the fact that our Divines went through such insane lengths to validate and prove all the details of his Consecration in fact prove my point, that those details are important, and were important to them. The Divines could have retreated into the vague territory of trying to hide in fideism and 'trying their best,' but they never did. They acknowledged the vital importance of every detail, and painstakingly proved each of those details. The intent was present, the form was present, and the matter was present, and they were at great pains to demonstrate all three. The Matthew Parker Consecration is one of the clearest proofs of the position of orthodox Anglicanism towards all these issues.

    If you aren't validly ordained, you aren't a priest or deacon. If you aren't validly consecrated, you aren't a bishop. If all the necessary elements aren't present, it is not a divine service. If additional elements aren't present, it is not a holy communion. If you want to repent but the words of general absolution aren't pronounced, then you aren't absolved (as Bishop Lancelot Andrews says, we enshrine the doctrine of confession/absolution). And so on.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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  14. PotterMcKinney

    PotterMcKinney Active Member Typist Anglican

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    I wont rehash my findings and my argumentation here, as we have been through this, but I would like to remind you that on this issue I am well within the formula of subscription of this site.
     
  15. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Member Anglican

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    The most Anglican position on this would be the plene esse position in my humble opinion. To say the episcopacy and the three-fold ministry of holy orders is of no real consequence seems impious given its obvious Scriptural roots and extremely early patristic consensus. Protestant churches should seek union and Anglicanism can give this gift (along with a few Lutheran churches and I believe the Hungarian Reformed Church) to other Lutherans, Reformed and Wesleyans. That being said it also seems impious to say that the Holy Ghost doesn't act in those jurisdictions without the historic episcopate. This seems on its face false and belies the Lord's promise to be present when two or more are gathered. Given both facts it seems prudent to conclude that while apostolic succession is not the essence of the Church it is a mark of the full essence of the Church.
     
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  16. JayEhm

    JayEhm Member

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    Are you sure? I've read Lutherans who say they do not have apostolic succession. Bishop Bo Giertz's book "Christ's Church; her biblical roots,her dramatic history, her saving presence, her glorious future" explains that apostolic succession in Lutheranism was not considered necessary but only beneficial. He also explains that many rulers and religious authorities refused to allow the ordination of priests or bishops. If Lutheran bodies do have A.S. it seems by accident at best.

    I know the Anglican Church of Canada is in communion with the South Church of Inida (Method, Congregational and Presby). Do they have apostolic succession?
     
  17. PotterMcKinney

    PotterMcKinney Active Member Typist Anglican

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    Not all Lutherans have Apostolic Succession, such as in Germany, but the ELCA in America does as do the Porvoo Lutherans.

    I know next to nothing about the South Church of India, so I couldn't tell you.
     
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  18. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I would suggest that you have a dispute with the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, which requires that ordination be null and void unless it were by a bishop. I'd also say you have to face the difficulty with article XXIII,
    "It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the Office of publick Preaching, or Ministering the Sacraments in the Congregation, before he be lawfully Called and sent to execute the same: and those we ought to judge lawfully called & sent, which be chosen & called to this work by men who have publick Authority given unto them in the Congregation, to call and send Ministers into the Lord’s Vineyard."

    Wherein the lawful calling, the choosing and sending, is intended to discard those who would get ordained by someone who was himself not yet ordained (a layman). Thus article XXIII, by this mandatory requirement of ordination, teaches apostolic succession, and the BCP explicitly requires an ordination by a bishop.
     
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  19. PotterMcKinney

    PotterMcKinney Active Member Typist Anglican

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    To give a short summary on the second objection (the first, of course, I have answered to you before), I see no reason that we are to take that Article as anything more than a rejection of upstarts not going through the proper channels within English law and thus subverting it, that law being that, among other requirements, they be ordained by a bishop. Absolutely no warrant is given in the Article, the Prayer Book, or the Homilies to believe that as a universal rule all ministers everywhere must be ordained in such a way exclusive to those with a threefold polity. Any and all attempts I have seen to derive such a thing from the formularies has been horrible eisegesis contrary to plain reading.
     
  20. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    1. I take Matthew Parker's consecration as entirely valid and regular.
    2. I believe that the 1552 Ordinal wss valid and sufficient.
    3. I believe that if there was a defecit in the 1552 Ordinal it would not of itself be sufficient to invalidate Matthew Parker's consecration.
    I would always expect the Church to strive to ensure that all it's rites are the best they can be, however sacramental effectiveness is not about saying the right words as if it is a magic spell. That is why I speak of sacramental intent. The words matter, however they are not the only thing that matters.
     
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